Strengthening rehabilitation, reintegration and recovery as part of UNODC’s global programmes on treatment and care of drug use disorders

Implementing Organization

Especially for people with substance use disorders associated with the use of often stronger synthetic drugs, long-term recovery can be a challenge and specific support needs to be availed. Sustained recovery management for people with drug use disorders is a core component of the UNODC/WHO International standards for the treatment of drug use disorders, describing it as “…a long-term process of increasing patients’ health and wellness, as well as supporting them in recovery from DUDs”. Elements of sustained recovery management can be access to housing, healthcare, social services, recovery peer networks, legal support, transportation, education and employment, empowerment for increased community participation and contribution, connection with faith-based and spiritual support, connection or reconnection with cultural practices, among other aspects of individual, local or cultural relevance. 
The aim is to support people with drug use disorders with or without concomitating mental health disorders to manage their health condition, attain their highest standard of health, manage negative health and social consequences of drug use disorders and increase recovery capital in areas such as health, social connectedness, work and income, family and overall community participation, while reclaiming full, meaningful lives in their community. 
To support Member States in their efforts to enhance access to rehabilitation, reintegration and sustained recovery management, UNODC PTRS aims at collecting of good practices, updating evidence available, sharing information between Member States, experts, civil society and people with lived experience and offer and offer capacity building for different audiences, including, policy makers, people with lived and living experience, family and community as well as different health and social professionals involved in the provision of recovery support.  

Accomplishments to Date

Through various lines of actions, UNODC PTRS has supported an increased emphasis on rehabilitation, reintegration and recovery support for people with drug use disorders, A number of technical guidance documents have been developed, specific trainings have been offered and recovery management is also part of overall UNODC trainings on treatment of drug use disorders, alternatives to conviction or punishment as well as quality assurance for drug use disorder treatment services and systems.  

Project Activities
  • Updated review on evidence-based recovery management 
  • Global analysis of access to recovery services based on UN Member State information (e.g. ARQ) 
  • Development of international advocacy campaign targeting UN Member States in line with international policy agreements and increased participation of people in recovery 
  • Compendium of tools on recovery management 
  • Capacity building on sustained recovery management at national level, benefitting different audiences (policy makers, communities, professionals)  
  • Implementation of key aspects of sustained recovery management in at least 5 project sites, accompanied by a cohort follow up study to demonstrate individual and community benefits 
Global Level Outcomes
  • Global outreach and advocacy campaign, in coordination with the Global recovery Network (GRN), for enhanced access to sustained recovery management efforts and the inclusion and full participation of people in recovery from drug use disorders in their respective communities 
  • Technical tools and training materials available to all UN Member States 
  • Enhanced visibility of and consideration for rehabilitation and recovery in the international policy framework 
  • Enhanced information on available and emerging evidence on effective rehabilitation and recovery management for people with drug use disorders 
National Level Outcomes
  • Enhanced capacity of professionals to develop and implement sustained recovery activities along a continuum of care 
  • Enhanced understanding among policymakers, families, overall communities and others on drug use disorders as health conditions and effective ways to support rehabilitation, reintegration and recovery 
  • Full inclusion and participation of people in recovery in their local communities 
  • Documented good practice around recovery management initiatives  

Current State Participants 

Various UN Member States have benefitted from UNODC/PTRS trainings on sustained recovery management. 


Anja Busse Programme Officer Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section Drugs, Laboratory and Scientific Services Branch UNODC P.O. Box 500 A-1400 Vienna T: +43 1 26060 4389 Email: anja [dot] busse [at] un [dot] org (anja[dot]busse[at]un[dot]org)